Thursday | June 22, 2017
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Crews work to fill sinkhole

A sinkhole that swallowed a truck earlier this week near Paauilo could be filled as early as today.

Crews with Goodfellow Bros. were working “around the clock” to repair a portion of Pohakea Mauka Road damaged Monday when a culvert collapsed during heavy rainfall, said foreman Clifford Cox.

The hole, which reached approximately 25 feet across and 15 feet deep, was being filled with concrete Thursday.

Cox said it would be ready for traffic either today or Saturday.

Work to fix the road, which also involved replacing the culvert, began Wednesday.

The hole has isolated about 50 residents mauka of the collapse but many have made do with the help of neighbors and the community’s emergency response team.

While the road hasn’t been passable by car, there is enough room for residents to walk around it to the other side, where they get rides from other community members.

Carl Pinahs, CERT leader for the Paauilo Mauka Kalopa Community Association, said the team mobilized quickly to see what help was needed.

That help included giving Jessie Rodrigues a ride to and from work Thursday.

Rodrigues said she appreciated the help but noted residents there are a hardy bunch.

“We’re tough,” she said, adding the loss of water for three days because of a ruptured line presented the biggest problem.

Some tapped a fire hydrant to “fill up,” Rodrigues said.

She said she was looking forward to the road being fixed.

“I’m sure glad they are moving really fast,” Rodrigues said.

Darryl Oliveira, Hawaii County Civil Defense administrator, said he was also pleased with the quick progress.

“They’re making what I consider to be significant or tremendous strides,” he said, referring to the work crews and the Public Works Department.

Oliveira said there would be efforts made to create another route for the residents during emergencies.

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